AUGUSTA, Maine — The family of a Maine man killed on Christmas 2015 is appealing the state’s denial to pay for his funeral costs because authorities said he was involved in criminal activity.

Thirty-five-year-old Eric Williams was killed by a gunshot to his head while he was sitting in his car. The Kennebec Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2hgHXYv ) Augusta police contend Williams had committed a burglary hours before he was shot, which makes his family ineligible for compensation from the state Victims’ Compensation Program.

Investigators say the motivation for the fatal shooting was revenge for the burglary.

Williams’ family is appealing the denial to the state Superior Court, and a hearing is set for Aug. 6 in Augusta.

The family says Williams should be regarded as innocent until proved guilty.

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